John Bolton: US should respect Kurdistan referendum and its results

John Bolton: US should respect Kurdistan referendum and its results

Kurds in Dallas, Texas gather in support of the Kurdistan Region’s historic independence referendum, Sep. 17, 2017. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)


WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan24) – John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, told Kurdistan24, “I strongly support holding the [independence] referendum.”

“I think it’s time for the Kurdish people in Iraq to give a voice to their aspirations,” he explained.

Bolton, thus, took issue with the position of the State Department, as repeated, most frequently and forcefully, by Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State, Brett McGurk: namely, it is not yet time, even now, for such a vote.

In explaining his position in support of the Independence Referendum, Bolton cited basic US constitutional principles, as embraced and articulated by the White House itself.

“I think the President in his speech to the General Assembly yesterday,” Bolton suggested, “really foreshadowed that, when he talked about sovereignty.”

The American people “understand that sovereignty is vested not in the government, but in us,” Bolton explained.

“That’s what the first three words of our constitution say,” he continued. “‘We, the people’ establish the constitution.”

Bolton strongly disagrees with the State Department’s approach. “They have never approved of having a referendum.”

“They want to keep Iraq an integral country,” the former UN ambassador explained.

“But I don’t think that’s possible anymore. I think the Kurdish people are de facto independent already”—that is, the Kurdistan Region already functions as an independent state, but it lacks legal recognition of that status.

“If the government in Kurdistan decided to implement a referendum result that called for independence,” Bolton stated, “I would support recognizing a de jure independent Kurdish government”—that is, an independent Kurdish government, legally acknowledged as such.

Bolton also noted the widespread sympathy for the Kurds among the US public. “I think the majority of the American people would do the same,” he said.

A referendum is “the only way to confer legitimacy on whatever choice the Kurdish people make,” he stated.

“I hope the government in Baghdad appreciates the significance of this,” the former ambassador said. “I’m sure that other Iraqi citizens would like a chance to vote in free and fair elections on their future.”


Al-Barashani: Barzani is looking for mediation to break the crisis in which he has put himself

The MP for the bloc of citizen Mohammed al-Lakash, Thursday, that the head of the region, “outgoing” Massoud Barzani, looking for any mediation to get out of the crisis that put himself in it, pointing out that his statements by insisting on the referendum is not serious.

“The dialogue at the present time is the best option that the Kurds do not come forward with any conditions, but to cancel the referendum and not to override the Constitution,” he said in a statement.

He added that “Barzani seeks and moves towards any initiative launched out of the crisis and the impasse in which to save face,” noting that “the recent statements and committed to insist on the referendum is unrealistic and not serious.”

Dillon: Da’ash loses all his battles with Iraqi forces

Spokesman for the International Coalition Operations against Colleague Ryan Dillon

Spokesman for the International Coalition Operations against Colleague Ryan Dillon

He added that Iraqi forces and the “Syrian Democratic Forces” liberated more than six million people from the grip of Daed in Iraq and Syria.

In a series of Twitter tweets, Dillon confirmed that Iraqi forces had completed the first phase of their operations against Daqash in Hawija.

The spokesman pointed out that these operations show the development of the capabilities of Iraqi forces in the war on the organization, noting that the elements of Daash clash with the determination of the Iraqi forces.

Dillon stressed that the results achieved against Da’ash in Iraq are due to the coordination of the efforts of various security forces, pointing out that these forces made efforts to help civilians who were trapped by the organization.

The spokesman pointed out that efforts to fight the organization of Daed in Iraq resulted in the liberation of more than four million people, in addition to the expulsion of the organization of 41 thousand square kilometers.

Across Iraq, more than 4 million people have been liberated and more than 41,000 square kilometers have been cleared.

Continued efforts in tenderness

Regarding the battle of Raqqa, the spokesman stressed that the “Syrian Democratic Forces” continues to control more land, noting that it liberated 84 neighborhoods inside the city this week.

Over the past week, they have helped 200 civilians flee the organization’s grip in Raqqa, Dillon said.

The operations of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces enabled the liberation of 2.3 million people from Dahesh’s grip and control of 44,000 square kilometers in Syria.

Across Syria, about 2.3 million people are no longer under ISIS control & more than 44,000 square km have been cleared.

Confusion over the Iraq speech at the UN that never was

Iraq’s prime minister Haider Al-Abadi pulled out of trip to New York amid political crisis at home
Mina Al Oraibi

September 22, 2017

Updated: September 22, 2017 12:14 AM

Iraq’s prime minister Haider Al Abadi says he is prepared to intervene militarily if the Kurdish region’s planned referendum results in violence. Khalid Mohammed / AP Photo

Iraq’s prime minister Haider Al Abadi says he is prepared to intervene militarily if the Kurdish region’s planned referendum results in violence. Khalid Mohammed / AP Photo

Confusion reigned Thursday afternoon as Iraq’s allotted time to deliver its address to the UN General Assembly came and went – without a word from the Iraqi delegation. According to the UN schedule distributed Thursday morning and live on the UN General Assembly website, after Slovenia’s Prime Minister Miro Cerar delivered his address, it was time for Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to deliver his, to be followed by the German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.
The website was updated moments later, pushing Iraq’s slot a little further down. And still no Iraqi address. The same was repeated twice, before Iraq was pulled off the list altogether without any update. It appears that the Iraqi prime minister did not come to New York after all as Iraq faces one of its worst political crises with the continued insistence by the Kurdish Regional president to hold an independence referendum to break away from Iraq. The referendum is due to take place on Monday, despite wide international rejection of it.

The Iraqi Prime Minister was slated to address the General Assembly, taking the place of the Iraqi President Fuad Masum who as late as Saturday was meant to be leading the Iraqi delegation to New York. However, a day before he was due to travel, Mr Masum decided to stay in Iraq as the political crisis deepens. Mr Masum is under increased pressure as he is the head of state of Iraq, meaning he should represent its sovereign will, and yet his political party PUK, has publicly supported the referendum.
Responding to questions from The National, an official from the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit said “there has been a lack of clarity for some hours.. we still have not been given a response from the Iraqi side”. And so, until the time of publishing this article, it was unclear when Iraq would be addressing the international community.
The confusion reflected a wider reality of confusion over Iraq. Late Wednesday night, the US issued a strongly worded statement announcing it “strongly opposes” the referendum. It went on to say “All of Iraq’s neighbours, and virtually the entire international community, also oppose this referendum. The United States urges Iraqi Kurdish leaders to accept the alternative”, which the US State Department said includes a serious and sustained dialogue with Iraq’s central government, facilitated by the United States and United Nations. “The costs of proceeding with the referendum are high for all Iraqis, including Kurds”, warned the US in stark remarks from an ordinarily supportive America to Iraq’s Kurds.
Mr Al-Abadi was to address the UN only hours after declaring a renewed military effort against ISIL and was meant to present his country’s plans for a post-ISIL future. Instead, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari has been leading the Iraqi delegation. It is expected Mr Al-Jaafari will eventually deliver Iraq’s address, but the timing remained unclear, as UN protocol mandates that heads of state speak first, then followed by heads of government, and lastly foreign ministers. Iraq had been given a position earlier on in the week when the head of state was due to speak.

Iraqi troops recaptures twenty villages in Kirkuk’s Hawija


Iraqi troops raise the Iraqi flag on a liberated area in Mosul

Baghdad ( Iraqi joint troops have managed to recapture twenty villages from Islamic State’s grip, in Hawija, Kirkuk, concluding the first phase of the offensive, military said.

“Federal Police, Rapid Response, army brigades and al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), liberated twenty villages in Hawija,” Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, commander of Hawija Operations, said on Thursday.

According to Yarallah, Iraqi troops managed to conclude the first phase of operations, which started early on the day.

During a joint press conference with Ryan Dillon, spokesman of the U.S.-led coalition against IS, on Thursday, Brig. Gen. Yahia Rasoul, spokesman of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said the number of Islamic State members in Hawija falls between 800 and 1500.

Earlier on the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and Lt.Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, deputy commander of the Joint Operations Command announced launch of first phase of operations to liberate Hawija and western Shirqat. Several villages in Shirqat have been retaken.

Hawija and other neighboring regions, west of Kirkuk, have been held by IS since mid-2014, when the group emerged to proclaim an Islamic “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.

Other offensives were launched earlier this week at the group’s havens in western Anbar’s borders with Syria.

Kuwait ‘s economy allocates most of its word in New York about Iraq .. What did she say?


Kuwait allocates most of its word in New York about Iraq .. What did she say?
 Twilight News    
 one hour ago

The Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said his country plans to host an international conference next year for donors to support Iraq, in cooperation and coordination with Baghdad and the international community.
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he reiterated his country’s commitment to helping Iraq regain its regional and international role.
In his speech, al-Sabah said that Iraq faces great security, political and economic challenges, most notably confronting and combating terrorist organizations and extremist groups.
And congratulates the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people on the victories achieved by their forces on the ground in the fight against the organization of the Islamic state and rid many areas of the grip of the organization.
He expressed the hope that these achievements would continue and that the remaining areas of the Organization would continue to be consolidated. This would contribute to strengthening the efforts of national reconciliation among the various components of the Iraqi people and would restore security and stability and preserve the unity, independence and sovereignty of Iraq and create conditions for the start of reconstruction and reconstruction efforts. To their areas.


China orders banks to stop doing business with North Korea

September 21 2017 08:37 PM
China orders banks to stop doing business with North Korea
China orders banks to stop doing business with North Korea

China’s central bank has told banks to strictly implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea, amid US concerns that Beijing has not been tough enough over Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear tests, four sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have ratcheted up after the sixth and most powerful nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang on Sept. 3 prompted the United Nations Security Council to impose further sanctions last week.

Chinese banks have come under scrutiny for their role as a conduit for funds flowing to and from China’s increasingly isolated neighbor.

The sources said banks were told to stop providing financial services to new North Korean customers and to wind down loans with existing customers, following tighter sanctions against Pyongyang by the United Nations.

The sources said lenders were asked to fully implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea and were warned of the economic losses and reputational risks if they did not do so.

Chinese banks received the document on Monday, the sources said.

China’s central bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“At present, management of North Korea-related business has become an issue of national-level politics and national security,” according to the document seen by the sources.

The document directed banks to explain to any North Korean customers that “our bank is fulfilling our international obligations and implementing United Nations sanctions against North Korea. As such, we refuse to handle any individual loans connected to North Korea.”

The document did not specify whether existing North Korean account holders could still deposit or remove money from their accounts.

Frustrated that China had not done more to rein in North Korea, the US Trump administration considered new sanctions in July on small Chinese banks and other firms doing business with Pyongyang, two senior US officials said.

China’s Big Four state-owned banks have stopped providing financial services to new North Korean clients, with some measures beginning as early as the end of last year.

Abadi’s policy rejects the referendum: The world stands with us in the unity of Iraq and dialogue is open

Abadi rejected the referendum: The world stands with us in the unity of Iraq and dialogue is open
 Twilight News    
 12 minutes ago

Shafaq News / Search Prime Minister Haider Abadi in his office with President Fuad Masum, security developments and the file of the referendum of the Kurdistan Region.
According to a statement by the Office of Abadi, the latter confirmed that “our position is consistent and included the rejection of the referendum in the Kurdistan region for unconstitutionality, the preservation of a unified Iraq, and the continuation of dialogue to resolve outstanding issues within the framework of the Constitution and the whole world stands with us in the unity of Iraq and sovereignty and war against terrorism.
Abadi pointed out that any unilateral action is unacceptable and that the door of dialogue is open according to the constitution and one Iraq.

The Supreme Council for the Referendum in the Kurdistan Region announced today the holding of the referendum on independence on the 25th of this month. “If we do not have full guarantees for independence, the referendum will take place on schedule next Monday,” he said.
“All doors are open and in any way open to dialogue with Baghdad, and a delegation will be sent to it from the Supreme Council for Referendum on Saturday,” a council statement said after a meeting on Thursday.

Talabani: hold referendum “difficult” and the Kurdish blocs do not have a unified opinion


 Journal News

MP of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Mohammed Osman, on Thursday, the difficulty of holding a referendum in Kirkuk, noting that “the Kurdish blocs do not have a unified opinion on the subject.”

“Our bloc stresses the necessity of resorting to the language of dialogue in resolving the issue of the Kirkuk referendum,” Mahmoud said in a statement read by the Journal News. “Those who do not resort to these methods are trying to work against Iraq.”

Osman stressed the difficulty of holding the referendum in Kirkuk, especially that there are about 30% of the province under the control of the “Daash”, pointing out that “the political blocs do not have a single opinion on the issue of secession and the referendum, making it difficult to Agraha.”

The office of Imam al-Sistani announced tomorrow tomorrow Muharram Haram


Release date: 2017/9/21 19:30 • 95 times read
(Al-Najaf: Al-Furat News) The Office of the Supreme Religious Authority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, announced that Friday will be the first day of the month of Muharram al-Haram for the new Hijri year 1439.
“Friday is the first day of the holy month of Muharram,” a statement from Imam al-Sistani’s office said.
The tenth of Muharram (Ashura) will be approved on Sunday, the first of the month of October next. “